These 5 books will teach you about life, but also about yourself.

girl reading book in grass

The 18th century author Sir Richard Steele once said: “Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.” Here are 5 books which will exercise your mind and improve your life:

#1 Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

This classic children’s book reminds us what it is like to be child-like and free. Max is an unruly child with a wild imagination. He imagines a magical world where he is the King of the Wild Things, but stops once he considers the consequences of his actions and returns home. This was one of the first children’s picture books which dealt with darker themes in the 1960’s, and therefore was very controversial at the time. Over the years, it has been acclaimed for dealing with childhood anger and the power of love.

#2 The 5 People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

From the author of international bestseller “Tuesdays with Morrie,” comes a book which leads you through the life and death of a maintenance man named Eddie. After his death, he meets the 5 people who had the greatest impact on his life. “The 5 People You Meet in Heaven” deals with themes such as forgiveness, releasing anger, sacrifice, the power of love, and the meaning of life. It will make you think about what really matters in life, and keep you turning pages.

#3 The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Incredibly, Hinton was only 16 years old when she wrote this tear-jerking, classic young adult novel. The story follows a rough group of teenage boys on the streets, struggling to survive through peer pressure and broken homes. As we learn more about Ponyboy and his crew, we are reminded that growing up is never easy. We can all learn something about pain, loss, friendship and “staying gold” from The Outsiders.

#4 The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Another classic young adult novel, “The Wizard of Oz” is a story most people generally know. Unlike the movie, where Dorothy’s adventure is seen as a dream, the novel leads readers to believe it is real. By reading the book, you learn the backstories behind the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion. This story can teach all of us something about appreciating what we have, and that home is where your heart is. You may know the story, but the book is much more thought-provoking.

#5 Wrecked by E.R Frank

This is my personal favorite book. Although it isn’t very well-known, it deals with the importance of sibling relationships, getting over trauma, and how to have healthy relationships. The novel follows Anna, who gets into a drunken accident following a party. The use of description and replaying the horrific accident will keep you on the edge of your seat. Learn along with Anna through her therapy sessions what really happened, why she feels the way she does, and how to deal with the trauma properly. On top of being a great example of personal growth, it also gives insight into therapy and its potential for rehabilitation.